I’ve noticed several posts on Facebook recently that call out Mitt Romney for things he allegedly would have done, had he been elected, which would have rendered the election moot no matter who won. These folks are, of course, the same ones who insisted that Mitt Romney was no different than Barack Obama in matters of policy, and are usually libertarians angered by America’s rejection of their messiah, Ron Paul. For these misguided ideologues (is that redundant?), there is no tolerance of any deviation from the libertarian creed; no compromise is possible with people who have suffused, or even entirely replaced, religious faith with political dogma.
This is part 1 in a series of posts dealing with this recurrence of the Mitt Romney Derangement Syndrome that was so widespread among libertarians during the 2012 Presidential Campaign, and which is reappearing because of Romney’s upcoming speech to CPAC on Friday, March 15, 2013. This part deals with Mitt Romney’s positions on Gun Rights. One poster claimed that Mitt Romney supported “draconian gun control” and offered a two minute, forty-five second video clip from 2007 as proof. That video is below.
This video twists reality by the use of creative editing and the insertion of a definition of “crazies” that Mitt Romney didn’t say and didn’t intend. Considering the context, i.e. the Brady Bill and background checks, the intent was most likely a reference to guys like John Hinckley, Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan. The compiler of the video is putting words in Romney’s mouth, a logical fallacy called a straw-man. They assign an argument to Mitt Romney and then stand back and say, “See? We told you so!” It’s dishonest and completely devoid of intellectual integrity. And remember, these are some of the same folks who called Mitt Romney a flip-flopper. Hmm, Hypocrisy anyone?
Mitt Romney’s position on guns and the Second Amendment is quite clear:
“Let me speak very directly and candidly about where I stand. I support the Second Amendment as one of the most basic and fundamental rights of every American. It’s essential to our functioning as a free society, as are all the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights…
“As president, I’ll honor the right of decent law abiding citizens to own and use firearms in defense of their families, their property and for all other lawful purposes, including the common defense.” (NRA-ILA – Sep 10, 2007)
Romney also defines “weapons of unusual lethality,” mentioned in the above video clip:
“When it comes to protecting the Second Amendment, I do not support any new gun laws including any new ban on semi-automatic firearms. As President, I will follow President Bush’s precedent of opposing any laws that go beyond the restrictions in place when I take office. The laws I do and will support include decades-old restrictions on weapons of unusual lethality like grenades, rocket launchers, fully automatic firearms and what are legally known as destructive devices and would include similar restrictions on new and exotic weapons of similar or even greater lethality. I am proud of my record of defending life and the Second Amendment.” (Mitt Romney, Dec. 30, 2007, 2008election.procon.org – Are more federal regulations on guns and ammunition needed?)
There are several other statements (with references) from Mitt Romney in speeches, articles and other media that clarify his position, here. Boiled down, it is this:
- The Second Amendment is a fundamental and individual right of all Americans, affirmed by the Supreme Court
- It is a cornerstone of our personal freedoms, and essential to a free society
- It is intended to provide for the common defense, among other purposes
- Individuals have the right to defend their homes and families
- The best solution to curb gun violence is to enforce the law, not to disarm law-abiding people
- Individual states should decide what gun laws exist
Additionally his record as governor is one of expanding gun rights for individuals. Here are some examples:
- In 2004, he signed Senate bill 2367 into law which provided for increasing the time a license is valid to six years, and reforms several other points of law in regards to guns and gun owners
- In 2005, he signed Senate bill 2255, which reformed the laws regarding muzzleloaders
- In 2005, he issued a proclamation declaring May 7, 2005 as “The Right to Bear Arms Day”
- In 2006, he signed House bill 4552, which allowed target pistol manufacturers to do business in Massachusetts, and exempted target pistols from the laws.
I’m really having a hard time finding anything that qualifies as “draconian gun control,” or indeed, anything that might be offensive to even libertarian sensibilities. It’s telling that some libertarians will condemn the main stream media for it’s blatant dishonesty and bias, until it comes to Mitt Romney. Most of the mythology surrounding Mitt Romney’s gun philosophy is the result of false stories printed by the Boston Globe, which was forever opposed to anything he did. Some very good documentation and refutation of these myths can be found here and here. But suddenly the media is shining the light of gospel truth on an evil man. And not only do these people seem to believe the lies about Mitt Romney, they will participate in their propagation. In that pursuit however they, like the media, resort to logical fallacies, half-truths, and outright lies to make their point. They are radicals of nearly the same hue as those on the Left; they will brook no compromise, tolerate no dissent, and silence any opposition by any means available.
But persistence in research pays off. The truth needs to be known. Indeed, as George Orwell wrote, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” It’s too bad the Ron Paul Revolution is on the wrong side.